Sports

Greece suspends football fixtures after club boss takes gun onto pitch

Greece suspends football fixtures after club boss takes gun onto pitch

The goal, initially ruled offside, was later allowed.

Third place PAOK could have moved within two points with AEK with a win on Sunday evening.

PAOK president Ivan Savvidis was escorted off the field after walking onto the pitch with a handgun holstered on his waist.

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Savvidis, who was a sergeant major in the Soviet Army, was restrained by bodyguards as he came close to the referee.

PAOK defender Fernando Varela seemed to have given the home side a last-gasp victor at the Toumba Stadium, with a 90th-minute header, only for the goal to be disallowed after a short delay by the referee on the night.

As the chaos kicked off, AEK Athens players went into their changing rooms to ensure they didn't get clocked from behind by a particularly passionate fan.

Deputy Minister for Sports Giorgos Vassiliadis, who had avoided to comment on the unprecedented decision by the soccer federation's appeals committee to return the points to PAOK, said in the early hours of Monday that "such extreme phenomena require courageous decisions".

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Some AEK Athens players left the pitch out of concern for their own safety, according to the BBC.

Savvidis, who took over PAOK in 2012, is a Russian-Greek businessman born in Georgia during the Soviet era who made his money with the privatization of a cigarette factory in southern Russia in the 1990s.

Deputy Minister of Sport of Greece, George Vassiliadis, said that the local Super League will be suspended, reports bgnes.

"After about two hours (23.20) and after the referee continually changing the decision to award or not the goal, he concluded that the goal counts and chose to stop the match".

Such incident led the Greek FA to suspend the league indefinitely and Greek police issuing an arrest warrant for Savvidis.

Last month, PAOK's league game with Olympiacos was abandoned before a ball was kicked.

Yet a few weeks later, another match in PAOK's Toumba stadium had to be abandoned after a cashier roll thrown from the stands hit the Olympiakos skipper.


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